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Why You Get the Sunday Night Blues (Even If You Like Your Job)

Topics: Career Advice

On the surface, it makes no sense: you finally have a job you love, or at least like, but here you are, dealing with the Sunday Night Blues again. Before you question whether you’re on the right track professionally, rest assured: you could be running your own company, making money hand over fist, doing exactly what you know you were born to do, and you’ll probably still have the occasional bout of “meh” on Sunday nights.

sunday night blues
Image Credit: Jeff Golenski/Unsplash

Why? Because even work you love is still, well, work. Also:

  1. The more you love your job, the harder it is to make time for non-work things.

“If you suffer from the Sunday blues, it’s likely that you haven’t dedicated sufficient time to rejuvenate, recharge, and destress,” writes Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead From Within, in a recent column at Inc.

When’s the last time you took a whole weekend off, no checking email allowed, or got out of bed without looking at your phone before your feet hit the floor? Technology has liberated us from needing to be in the physical office, but it’s also bound us to work, 24/7. When you like your job, it’s even more difficult to unplug, because it’s not just the boss who’s demanding your round-the-clock participation—it’s you, putting pressure on yourself.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

To reduce this stressor, you’ll have to be firm with yourself, and set better boundaries. Remember: the goal is to keep loving your job. You can’t do that, if you never get any rest.

  1. Even good employers ask a lot of people who do a lot.

At most companies, the reward for being an exceptional employee is more work. (Hopefully, it’s also a raise and a promotion, but the more work part is almost guaranteed.)

What this means is that you’re likely to be more stressed if you’re more dedicated, and not just because you’re inspired to work hard. Chances are, you actually do have more to do.

The answer is slightly scary to an A-student type who prides himself on being able to do it all: you’ll have to ask for help. Start by keeping your manager in the loop about what you’re doing and whether you need more resources to do it well. You won’t be seen as a whiner as long as you frame your updates in the context of finding solutions, not pointing out problems.

  1. Goal-oriented people often have trouble being here now.

The nature of achievement-focused workers is to look forward. That’s all well and good, but if you want a measure of peace along with your other accomplishments, you need to be present.

“Instead of zooming around, focus on whatever is in front of you, and complete it calmly and carefully,” Daskal advises. “Once you get used to that way of working, you’ll find that you get things done much more quickly and with less stress.”

Being in the moment will also help you enjoy your non-work time more. Once you learn how to be here now, you’ll be able to enjoy Sunday night as the holiday it is, instead of looking at it as an on-ramp to the week. With a little practice, you could get back all those hours you normally spend thinking about Monday morning.

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How do you deal with the Sunday Night Blues? Tell us on Twitter or leave a comment.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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